View our frequently asked questions.
What are the characteristics of an oak frame building?
One of the characteristics of green oak is that as it dries, it moves and twists across its width. This strengthens and adds charm to the building. Splits and shakes are therefore an expected part of the beauty and character of the building and do not cause any structural issues.
How long does one of your buildings last?
There are many oak framed buildings in the UK that date from the 15th and 16th Centuries. We use the same traditional oak framing techniques in constructing our buildings.
Conservatories can overheat or be too cold. Is an oak framed extension a good alternative?
Maintaining a constant comfortable temperature is a common problem. However a traditional oak framed extension, insulated to building regulations, will stay warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Can an oak framed building or extension be attached to a modern house?
Attaching an oak frame extension to a modern property is not a problem. Many of our oak framed extensions are designed with a contemporary feel to complement the existing building.
Are there any environmental benefits to having an oak frame building?
Yes, many. All our timber is sourced from managed forests where more trees are planted for each one felled. As we all know growing trees absorb more CO2 than a mature tree thereby helping to reduce greenhouse gases. On top of this oak is also more energy efficient to produce than other man made building materials. After all wood is the only truly renewable building resource.
Why choose EHB?
By choosing English Heritage Buildings, you will not only be getting a truly stunning oak framed building made by the UK’s leading oak frame specialist, you will also receive a level of quality and service that many other companies do not provide:
- an oak frame made from the finest quality green oak specially selected for your frame
- the highest quality design with attention to the details
- a dedicated, experienced and committed team to design, manufacture and oversee your project
- traditional building methods using full timber joints
- specific structural calculations for your building fully underwritten by our structural engineer’s professional indemnity
- excellent customer service
- a company you can trust with over 20 years trading experience with many 1000’s of oak frames already supplied across the UK and Europe
- dedicated show sites across the UK
- a fully comprehensive 10-year insurance-backed guarantee for your building that gives true peace of mind.
Which area of the country do you cover?
We have supplied our oak framed buildings throughout the whole of the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands. In addition, we have agents who market and supply our buildings within Ireland and mainland Europe. Our team will discuss your requirements and arrange a visit from one of our consultants if you need support or advice on site. You are also very welcome to visit our dedicated showsite in Cranleigh, Surrey or our factory in Woods Corner, East Sussex where we also have show buildings available to view.
What type of buildings can you provide?
We are a long established company with extensive experience in designing and building a wide variety of oak framed buildings. The buildings we have made range from lychgates, gazebos, garages and garden rooms to houses, pool enclosures and complexes. Most types of buildings are possible for us and we are happy to advise you on any situation.
What is the company philosophy?
We aim to provide the best product and service to each and every individual customer. Our company mission statement contains the essence of the company’s philosophy and states that “EHB wants to be and remain the number 1 in the market of oak frame buildings. We’ll do this by simply being the best in whatever we do… and it’s satisfied customers that we thrive on”
Are you part of English Heritage?
No, but you can contact them on 0207 973 3000.
When planning a project what things do I need to consider?
There are many aspects of a building project that you need to consider such as:
- Your overall project budget
- Planning requirements and advice received from the Local Authority Planning Officer.
- Building regulations
- Location and surrounding area of your building (including proximity to boundaries and other buildings)
- Overall project management and co-ordination of contractor services.
- What contractors are needed to complete the overall project.
- Access to the site during and after construction
- Timing of the project.
Our sales consultants can provide valuable advice and information about the process and also introduce you to other contractors where needed.
What are the advantages of having one of your consultants visit me on site?
Our consultants can provide you with valuable information and help answer any questions you may have with the design of your building. As part of the added value to our services for you, EHB Consultants are able to:
- Carry out a preliminary site survey to check feasibility, and offer creative ideas to better accommodate the designs you have in mind.
- Discuss your requirements and understand the personal criteria you are looking to fulfil with your oak frame building.
- Provide sketches, designs, and provide budgetary advice. The consultant can then provide a fully detailed frame quotation, for your consideration.
- Advise on how to proceed when looking to obtain Planning Permission, and statutory approval under Building Control legislation.
- Advise on choosing other Contractors, such as Ground workers and Roofing trades, where external to EHB, and also fully explain how EHB interact with your chosen contractor(s).
- Arrange visits to our showroom, or a visit to our workshops to see oak framing being manufactured.
- They will also be able to provide any advice you may need with the project and options available with the oak frame and ensure that your requirements are fully understood so that our quotation can fully reflect the building and features that you want.
In short, our consultants are on hand to assist you, and answer any questions you may have.
I would like to build my own house. I have found a plot of land, what is the next step?
We can meet you on site to produce sketches, plans and costings. We can then help see the whole job through to completion.
How does planning work?
Planning is not necessarily needed for your oak frame building as it depends on whether you have permitted development rights and on the position, size and usage of the proposed building. We can advise accordingly and help with any application. Where it is needed, we use an external company who will process planning applications on our behalf. This ensures that we are able to provide a high standard of service, with a very high success rate.
Do you provide a full turnkey project for my building?
Our quotation will normally include the oak frame, studwork, padstones, pegs, fixings, roof timbers, cladding, insulation, wallboards and joinery. We are also happy to provide the following services for our buildings if needed:
- planning service
- building regulations application
We would not include any additional landscaping, decoration or internal fixing work (eg sandblasting, plastering, electrics, plumbing etc) and we would suggest that this is completed by local contractors who specialise within these areas. We would be happy to introduce you to contractors who are experts in this field.
Where a full turnkey solution is needed including overall project management, we also have partner companies who are experienced in working alongside us and who will co-ordinate the entire project for you.
Our consultants can advise you when this may be needed and what this will involve.
Will a green oak frame dry out and move?
One of the characteristics of green oak is that as it dries, it moves and twists across its width. This strengthens and adds charm to the building.
We have specific requirements for an oak framed building. Can you work to our design?
Most of our projects are bespoke oak buildings; virtually any design can be accommodated. From reconstructed timber barns to custom build swimming pool enclosures we welcome all and any traditional builds.
How do you work out the proportions of your oak frames?
We are experts in designing oak frames. Once we have designed your building we then pass the design on to a structural engineer to get confirmation that the design complies with all current design criteria and that it will meet all structural requirements.
Do you only make doors and windows in iroko?
We make joinery as a standard in iroko, softwood, oak or sapeli wood. Other types of timber may be used if you have any particular requirement, please ask and we will advise whether this is possible
Do you only do standard sizes of joinery?
Most people choose standard sizes but we listen to your individual needs and all of our joinery is tailor made to meet the requirements of each and every individual frame – therefore bespoke sizes are always possible!
Are padstones included?
Yes, as are wooden pegs, detailed plans and exploded drawings and instructions for self-assembly.
Are all building timbers in oak?
The main structure is of the best quality green oak. Weatherboarding, studwork and roof rafters can be either oak or softwood depending on individual requirements.
What design considerations can affect costs?
If you have a specific budget for your oak frame or want to reduce your costs, you should make us aware as there are many areas in the design consideration that can help reduce overall costs such as:
- use of building
- cross-section or style of frame
- type of timber used for joinery, rafters and cladding
- location of building in relation to boundaries which affect fire protection requirements
- access and security requirements of the building.
Our sales consultants are experts in helping you find the right design to meet your needs and will also help you make the right choices to meet your budget.
I am getting quotes for a two bay garage. Will it be more expensive in oak?
Not necessarily, in fact you will be surprised how competitive oak can be.
Do you include all costs to assemble the oak frame (eg crane costs) in the quote?
Our quoted assembly prices include all plant and lifting equipment needed to assemble the oak frame (including crane hire and other lifting costs). It is common practice with many building companies to exclude plant and/or lifting costs from the quotation and just add on these costs as “extras” at the end of the project or quote a crane day rate so you are unsure what your final project cost will be! This can potentially add many thousands of pounds to the costs at the end of a project which you are not expecting.
There are NO HIDDEN EXTRAS in your quotation from English Heritage Buildings as these costs are all fully included in your quotation and will not be added on unexpectedly at a later date!
Are there any hidden charges not shown on my quote?
There are no hidden charges on your quote from us. The only variations in cost that could potentially be made are in the following circumstances:
- If you change your mind about any aspect of the building, the costs may increase or reduce as appropriate
- If we are contracted to provide groundworks, we will specifically state within our quote what type of foundations and the depth of the footings we have allowed for. If the Building Control Officer demands deeper footings or alterations in the foundations design, there may be an extra charge
- If ground conditions at the time of delivery require any temporary access to be installed to get to the site of the building, this may be charged as an extra cost unless this has been specifically allowed for in your quote.
What is your delivery time from order?
Once we have received confirmation from you that you are happy with the design of your new building (deposit payment together with signed drawing, quotation and terms & conditions) then delivery is normally around six to eight weeks.
How long does a frame take to erect?
Each frame is different so the time for erection can vary. For example: a standard 2 bay garage normally takes approximately 1 day to erect and an average house can take around 7-10 days.
I am interested in an oak framed building. Will I be able to assemble it myself?
You will need to be fit, have basic building skills and have access to a small team of helpers. English Heritage Buildings will deliver pre-cut timbers with all necessary instructions. We can also offer installation advice over the telephone.
How will it work if I’m using some of my own subcontractors?
We have a lot of experience working alongside other subcontractors. Our operations department will assist them throughout the build and will provide them with any information they need to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible.
How is the building delivered?
We have our own dedicated in-house lorries to transfer your building direct from our factory to your site. When you have placed your order, where we are assembling the building we carry out a survey of every site before delivery so if there are any access restrictions on site, we ensure that suitable delivery vehicles are used and appropriate arrangements are made to get the materials to the required location. Self assembly customers need to advise us of any access or delivery restrictions.
What ongoing maintenance will my oak frame require?
The only ongoing maintenance normally required for an oak frame after initial erection and decoration is re-protection and decoration of any joinery and any softwood weatherboard. The oak frame timbers and any oak cladding should not require any ongoing maintenance. We provide an aftercare sheet giving full instructions and advice for taking care of your oak frame.
How often will the weatherboarding require protecting?
Depending on exposure to the elements, generally every 5-8 years.
Do you guarantee your frames?
A 10-year insurance-backed guarantee for the timber frame structure is issued on completion of our works and payment of the final contract balance. The glazing carries a 5 year guarantee in line with Pilkington’s guarantee period. Our guarantees are automatically transferred to any new owners for the remainder of the guarantee period should you sell your building.